Alumni Spotlight

  • The Sodus Central School District is proud of our alumni, and we are pleased to showcase their accomplishments in the “Alumni Spotlight” on our Website. Please take a few minutes to read these interesting stories about your fellow classmates!

    Know someone who would be great for an Alumni Spotlight? Email Karen Rawden.

     Julio Chavez

    Julio Chavez
    Class of 2013

    Article compliments of The Times of Wayne County
    SUNY Delhi culinary arts major Julio Chavez of Sodus, NY, won the national title of “Student Chef of the Year 2018” July 19th. The culinary competition, sanctioned and organized by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), was held at the “Cook. Craft. Create. National Convention & Show” in New Orleans, LA. The Student Chef of the Year recognizes an up-and-coming student who possesses a high degree
     of professionalism, culinary skill, and passion for the culinary arts.

    Five student chefs representing the Northeast, Southeast, Western, and Central regions of America, as well as the U.S. Military, competed for the national title. Chavez earned his place in the finals by first winning the ACF Northeast Regional Student Chef of the Year competition in February in Buffalo, NY.

    “Julio has demonstrated the skill, motivation, and determination necessary to earn this prestigious title,” said Dr. David Brower, Dean of the School of Business and Hospitality Management at SUNY Delhi. “He represents our institution exceptionally well and is a testament to the unparalleled education that our students receive at SUNY Delhi.”

    “Working with Julio has been an unbelievable process,” said SUNY Delhi Culinary Instructor Chef Sean Pehrsson who coached and mentored Chavez in his ascent for the national title. “It is amazing to come from a small college in upstate New York, put our students up against the best students from around the country, and be victorious. Julio’s success speaks volumes about the quality of our culinary arts program.”

    With input from Pehrsson, Chavez chose to compete with a Mexican-inspired lamb trio dish, highlighting his heritage with flavors and components indigenous to his cuisine and style of cooking. Chavez practiced and worked closely withPehrsson for weeks in order to perfect the dish and his technique. In

    their critiques, the judges applauded the fact that Chavez leveraged his roots, incorporating contemporary interpretations of classical elements and featuring a variety of flavor profiles, color, and texture.

    “The critique Julio received from the judges was one of the most positive I have heard,” said Pehrsson. “They loved how the flavors all complemented each other and how well composed the dish was. His dish and kitchen work were beautiful. He truly deserves to be the 2018 American Culinary Federation Student Chef of the Year.”

    In his acceptance speech, Chavez thanked everyone who supported him during the competition process. “I want to give a huge shout out to my mentor Chef Pehrsson, my parents, my team who supported me every step of the process, and everyone who came to New Orleans to see me compete.”

    Chavez dedicated his victory to his parents. “My parents really struggled to bring our family from Mexico to the United States when I was five years old. They worked hard to give me what they never were able to have: a good life and an education. My success is their reward.”

    Chavez will graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts Management from SUNY Delhi. While at Delhi, Chavez has been actively involved in community service through various organizations and has been inducted into the Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society. He is also a teaching assistant for Signatures by Candlelight, the student-operated restaurant class. “I already have great job offers to look forward to after graduation,” said Chavez. “The incredible culinary program at SUNY Delhi has changed my life.”

     Carlos Thomas
    Class of 1995
    Carlos Thomas, Class of 1995, Drummer, percussionist, music producer, dancer and choreographer of STOMP.

    I was actually born in the town of Sodus, NY. The hospital is no longer there so that means not many people can say that they were actually born in Sodus. During my high school years I was always in the music Department. I was the director of my gospel choir. I stared the group FOOT SOLDIERS. I birthed and founded what you know as GRAFFITI! In 1995! This talent show is still going on today. I am master teacher for THE YOUNG AMERICANS. I am also a performer and rehearsal director for the show STOMP. I teach Music at an elementary school in NYC. My journey is still going strong. Never forgetting my beginnings. Always looking forward to new adventures.

    Dr. Jayde Gray
    Class of 2008

    Dr. Jayde Gray, Chiropractor, Class of 2008

    Dr. Glickman and the staff of Fernandina Chiropractic Center in Florida would like to introduce their new associate chiropractor, Dr. Jayde Gray.

    Dr. Gray grew up in a small farming town (Sodus) located in upstate New York. She received her Bachelor’s in Music from Nazareth College where she focused on vocal and piano performance. She stayed active by playing soccer and competing in ultimate Frisbee tournaments. Dr. Gray then completed her chiropractic degree at New York Chiropractic College in the Finger Lakes of NY. Through her clinical experience at NYCC, Dr. Gray worked as an intern where she managed an array of cases from low back complaints to complex neurological diseases. She was a member of the pediatrics club and also had the opportunity to work with young children during her internship. In just a few short weeks, she will officially be certified to specialize in pregnancy and pediatric care. Dr. Gray is dedicated to providing quality conservative spine care in a comfortable, professional environment.

    In her spare time, Dr. Gray likes to sing in the Island Chamber Singers group and train to compete in bodybuilding shows. She is excited to start working with the people of Yulee FL, Amelia Island and the surrounding areas.

    Devin Lawrence 
    Class of 1998 

    Devin Lawrence (Writer/Director) Class of 1998 - A native of Sodus and Rochester, New York, Devin Lawrence received his film education at Emerson College where he was honored as best Director for his senior thesis film SACRIFICIAL YOUTH, which made its world premiere at the Palm Springs Film Festival. Promptly after making his west coast pilgrimage, Devin had several television series and feature-length screenplays optioned and put into development by Atlas Entertainment, Anonymous Content, Autumn Entertainment, Fylmar Productions, and Sobini Films. Several of these projects were then brought in for packaging by Creative Artists Agency. Devin also has written/produced/edited documentaries for Authentic Entertainment and Musical Circus Entertainment, and he currently writes/edits GHOST ADVENTURES, the top-rated show on Travel Channel. SYMPATHY, SAID THE SHARK stands to be Devin’s feature-length directorial debut.

    SYMPATHY, SAID THE SHARK is playing at The Little Theatre in Rochester, NY on Wednesday, January 13 and Devin will be in attendance. Tickets are $8.00 and can be ordered online. 


    About the Film:

    A young couple reluctantly answers their door during a rainstorm and in rushes a soaked, bloodied, and estranged friend who insists that someone is trying to kill him. This triggers a non-stop night that forces all three of them to confront their own darkest secrets as well as an even larger threat that comes knocking. We are all prisoners of our own subjective views and experiences. The majority of Sympathy, Said the Shark is told from the explicit point-of-view of its three main characters. Every time the POV switches there is an overlap of time where we see or hear something that the previous character missed, thus continuously changing the opinion of who's good, who's bad, and what is really going on...


    Neil Paprocki
    Class of 2003

    Neil Paprocki, Class of 2003, joins the HawkWatch team in September 2014 as the organization's Conservation Biologist. Originally from the east coast, he earned his BS in Animal Behavior from Bucknell University in central Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, Neil immediately immersed himself in ornithological fieldwork for over three years. He has worked with Ptarmigan in Alaska, and songbirds in New Hampshire and Nevada. Eventually he made his way into the raptor community by working with the federally endangered California Condor for 2 and a half years in southern California, northern Arizona, and southern Utah. Neil went on to earn his MS degree in Raptor Biology from Boise State University studying the effects of climate and habitat change on wintering raptors in southwest Idaho.

    Neil arrives at HawkWatch International having recently spent the summer of 2014 studying Gyrfalcons on the Seward Peninsula of northwest Alaska. In addition to his love of raptors he helped co-found a small wildlife conservation filmmaking non-profit, Wild Lens Inc., during his time at Boise State University. In 2013 he co-directed his first film, Bluebird Man, about the role of citizen scientists in the recovery of North American bluebird populations. Neil also enjoys backpacking, hiking, photography, birding, homebrewing, and skiing.

    Favorite raptor: Rough-legged Hawk

    E-mail Neil
    (801) 484-6808 ext. 106


    Amanda Lucieer
    Class of 2011

    Amanda Lucieer earned her Associates Degree in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management at the Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts at YTI Career Center in Lancaster, PA.

    Amanda is now a Full Time Cook & Prepared Foods Team Leader at Wegmans in Montgomeryville, PA.